I have been regularly encountering an issue with a USB keyboard and mouse, where the mouse pointer freezes, and the keyboard experiences missed or delayed keystrokes. After approximately two seconds, it would unfreeze again, but the problem would reoccur almost immediately.
Having now found a solution, I thought I would share it in case anyone else is experiencing the same issue.
The issue seems to occur only with a USB keyboard and mouse – it did not occur when a PS/2 keyboard & trackpad combo were used. However, using the PS/2 ports is not a solution for me as they are not compatible with my main keyboard and mouse, not even with USB-to-PS/2 adaptors.
The issue was encountered on a SuperMicro X8DTL-3F motherboard with twin Xeon X5680 CPUs, which was being used as a developer Workstation.
The motherboard has BIOS version 2.1b (16-Nov-2012), which I believe is the latest.
The issue was observed on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Windows 7 Professional. This suggests it is a hardware issue rather than the operating system.
I tried both the on-board USB2 ports, and also an aftermarket USB3 card, but the problem persisted.
I had Legacy USB Support turned off in BIOS as otherwise the USB3 card is not detected under Ubuntu. But even with Legacy USB Support enabled, the problem still persisted.
I initially tried disabling the COM ports in BIOS. My rationale for this was that maybe it was an IRQ issue, or a polling / timeout issue. This change appeared to mitigate the issue somewhat, but didn’t cure it.
I then contacted SuperMicro tech support, and got a reply within 15 mins (outstanding!).
They suggested disabling IPMI by moving the JPB jumper (located between PCIe slot 3 and 4) from the 1-2 position to the 2-3 position, since IPMI is internally connected to USB on this motherboard and could potentially cause issues on the USB bus.
Having done this as well, I have not yet seen the issue re-occur.
NOTE: Simply disabling IPMI in BIOS is not sufficient, as I already had that disabled whilst experiencing the issue.
I have not as yet re-enabled the COM ports, since I do not need them enabled, so I cannot say whether it is solely the IPMI disable that fixes the issue, or whether you need to disable the COM port as well.